New Florida codes compel contractors to upgrade the roof-wall connections on qualifying older homes when replacing the roof covering. In this article Richard Reynolds, who helped write the new code language, outlines the steps involved: how to inspect the connections that tie existing rafters or trusses to the wall plate to determine whether retrofitting is needed; and, if the home does need a retrofit, how to make those connections so that the structure will pass inspection.
A couple of decades ago, not much was typically done to secure gable-end trusses: at most, a few toe-nails, perhaps an occasional strap or diagonal brace. But these measures prove insufficient in a high-wind event, where negative pressures are the most likely forces to pull apart an underbuilt wall. And once the gable end goes, it can unzip a house, devastating the structure and ruining the entire contents of a home. As Richard Reynolds explains, retrofitting gable ends to resist hurricane-force winds must not only brace the framing members but also strengthen the connections. Here, he details the five-step process that results in a well-secured, well-sealed gable-end retrofit.
The eaves of a home can expose the structure to the ravages of wind-driven rain on two fronts: when soffits are blown out during a storm, and when winds of 90 mph or greater drive water through vented soffits. Effective December 2006, the Florida Building Code requires soffit systems to be able to withstand the same design pressures that are applied to windows. This change came about in part because of a recommendation by the Institute for Business & Home Safety's consultant Eric Stafford. Here, IBHS's Tim Reinhold and Bradenton, Fla., contractor Richard Reynolds take a look at the pilot tests of soffit performance that led to the FBC change and recommend what builders can do to prevent soffit failure and water intrusion in real-world situations.